'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Tuesday 4 September 2012

A Monday Meander (and a Tuesday Trip).

After a bad weekend (hearing aid problems leading to a visit to the ENT Drop-in on Friday, toothache on Saturday and Sunday leading to a phone call to the dentist and a prescription for antibiotics on Monday), we decided to get out and have fun on Monday afternoon. As 'fun' for us is a walk, some art, and tea and cake, we decided to head for the Hillier Gardens. It was a warm, sunny afternoon and once we got away from the car park, not too busy. 

I can't remember the artist who made these, but they were beautifully 'planted' very close to the bed of enormous rudbeckias (?). Some other interesting stuff, although I'm beginning to find 'Art in the Garden' a bit samey, year on year.

The forecast for today was also good, so we decided to go to the seaside - a walk and lunch in Bournemouth, followed by an exhibition, tea and a walk at Highcliffe Castle. 

We found art in both places. 

At first glance, from up on the East Cliff, the deckchair looked quite normal - until I realised the scale of it! Great fun, despite some of the comments on that link. Do Bournemouth residents have no sense of humour? 

Walking along the clifftop, we spotted the planes. They are a memorial to Flt Lt Jon Egging, the Red Arrows pilot who was killed after taking part in the Bournemouth Air Festival last year - and very moving they are.

There was more art at the Russell-Cotes museum, where we had lunch, but I'd left my camera in the car, so I can only show you this photograph of the big bird which has landed in their garden. There are other birds by the same sculptor inside, but I preferred the big one.

At Highcliffe we saw an exhibition by the very talented Thompson family, recommended by my fellow ex-student, Liz. I suspect most quilters and embroiders have tried the technique of layering fabrics, stitching and slashing, but Karina Thompson takes the technique and makes wonders with it, while her mother Marian uses appliqué and machine stitching to make atmospheric flower pieces. And father Ray's wood carvings are quite something too. 

That was followed by tea and delicious apple pie (as a change from cake) in the Castle tearooms, another short walk, and home before the traffic got too bad. 

For a change today's apps (yes, apps) are not ones using filters, although they include a small selection, but apps which make collages. Since I abandoned trying to use Picasa with the Mac, I have been looking for an app which will make collages as well as Picasa does. I still haven't found one, but these two are closer than most.

The images above were made with 'Tiled', which, unlike other Frame apps I've looked at, allows you to design your own frames, starting from a series of basic grids. (There are preset frames as well, some of them quite unusual.)

You can change the colour of the frame, add text or pictograms, apply a filter, or add colour to empty spaces in the grids. It is fairly easy to use, especially if you watch the tutorial videos, and doesn't attempt to sell you something else.

The two below were made with 'Phototangler' which as you can see is a lot more soft focus. No set frames to choose from, you just upload your images and move them about as you wish. You can adjust the size, bring photos forward or send them back, change the colour of the background, and add text and filters.  This one is a bit girly/scrap-booky for me, and I wish it had a harder edged option, but it is very unrestrictive, which I like. Also easy to use, although the way to start a new image (click on the trash bin) wasn't intuitive, for me at least.

I can see myself using both of these again, but if anyone knows an app which will arrange photos in a collage wihtout you needing to do any more than select them, like Picasa, please le me know. I'd even pay money for it!

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